Correctional Officer Salary

Those pursuing careers as Correctional Officers in the United States may have to make do with less; average incomes for people in this area hover around only $35K annually. Compensation ranges from $25K on the lower end to $57K per year on the higher end. Geography is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by the specific employer and experience level. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. Most Correctional Officers survey respondents are men (71 percent). Medical benefits are awarded to most, and a strong majority earn dental coverage. Participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.
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$25,004 - $61,433
(Median)
$25K
$35K
$61K
MEDIAN: $35,071
10%
50%
90%

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$10.77 - $22.59
(Median)
$11
$15
$23
MEDIAN: $15.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$21K$42K$63K
Salary
$25,004 - $61,433  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,023  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$24,659 - $57,303  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,050
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$14$28$42
Hourly Rate
$10.77 - $22.59  
   
Overtime
$14.67 - $39.33  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$28K$56K$84K
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,023  
   
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$24,659 - $57,303  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 719
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Job Description for Correctional Officer

A correctional officer works at a prison, jail, or similar institution. They are responsible for maintaining the safety and control of all persons remanded to the custody of the facility. The help ensure and enforce all procedures and regulations as required by the jurisdiction and management.

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Correctional Officer Tasks

  • Responsible for transporting or moving prisoners.
  • Receive and secure prisoners until their release.
  • Maintain security of the jail or institution.
  • Supervise prisoners and maintain security, rules, regulations and cleanliness in correctional facility.

Common Career Paths for Correctional Officer


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Correctional Officers sometimes assume positions such as Registered Nurses. That role pays $55K per year on average. More often than not, a Corrections Officer role is the next step for Correctional Officers moving up in the field. Corrections Officers usually make $36K per year. Many other Correctional Officers choose to take on a Security Officer role, where salaries are typically $25K.

Correctional Officer / Jailer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Correctional Officer


Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons, The GEO Group, Inc., and Florida Department of Corrections are leaders in the field that employ a large number of Correctional Officers. NYSDocs attracts talent by shelling out the biggest paychecks in the area — the median in that office is $59K. Federal Bureau of Prisons, Arizona Department of Corrections, and Indiana Department of Corrections are a few other companies that offer generous salaries, with Correctional Officers earning around $48K, $41K, or $38K at each firm, respectively.

Others at the bottom of the scale for this job include Georgia Department of Corrections at $27K, Idaho Department of Corrections at $29K, and Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), where $31K is the norm.

Popular Skills for Correctional Officer


Correctional Officers report using a pretty varied skill set on the job. Most notably, facility with Safety Compliance and Transport are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 37 percent and 21 percent, respectively. Experience with Oral / Verbal Communication is often linked with knowledge of Security Policies and Procedures.

Pay by Experience Level for Correctional Officer

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


For Correctional Officers, level of experience appears to be a somewhat less important part of the salary calculation — more experience does not correlate to noticeably higher pay. Folks with fewer than five years of experience take home $32K on average, and those who have worked for five to 10 years see a bigger median salary of $36K. Correctional Officers bring in $39K after working for 10 to 20 years. Veterans who have acquired more than 20 years report a median income of $47K, which is generally higher than the pay reported by other tenure groups.

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Experience Affects Correctional Officer Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 37%

Experienced
up arrow 13%

Mid-Career
up arrow 5%

National Average
$34,000


Skills That Affect Correctional Officer Salaries

Safety Compliance
up arrow 37%

Transport
up arrow 21%

Oral / Verbal Communication
up arrow 2%

People Management
up arrow 2%

Security Policies and Procedures
0%

National Average
$34,000

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 257 votes.

Gender

Female
29 %
Male
71 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
11%
1-4 years
40%
5-9 years
19%
10-19 years
23%
20 years or more
7%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 88% dental benefits Dental: 72%
vision benefits Vision: 62% employee benefits None: 10%
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